South Africa's role in conflict resolution and peacemaking in Africa: conference proceedings
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Since its transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa has become increasingly drawn into the resolution of conflicts and the promotion of peace and stability on the wider African continent. This has followed from the high reputation of its own negotiated settlement as a model for other conflict torn countries to emulate, the iconic status of Nelson Mandela as a master of reconciliation and forgiveness, and not least the sense in Pretoria that South Africa has a moral obligation to 'repay' Africa for the sins of apartheid and that it has some considerable capacity, military and economic, to do so.
This collection, rawn from a workshop conducted on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, offers overviews of key aspects of South Africa's attempts to bring various of Africa's wars and conflicts to an end, alongside analyses of its vigorous peace-making engagements in particular countries (Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast). It concludes with considerations of the exportability of the South African 'miracle' (notably with regard to the extent that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission experience can usefully be replicated elsewhere), principles of best practice and gendered involvement in peace-making, and the difficulties presented to South Africa's more noble goals by the country's simultaneous existence as an arms manufacturer and exporter of weapons to hot-spots of conflict around the continent and elsewhere in the world.
Outlining a shift in Pretoria's continental policy from the ambitiously principled aspirations of the Mandela years, whose human-rights orientation resulted in South Africa clashing with other African regimes (notably those in Nigeria and Zimbabwe), to a more pragmatic, but arguably effective multilateralist approach under Mbeki, this collection explores failures as well as successes, and constraints as well as capacity.
Including chapters by authors from the HSRC (John Daniel, Roger Southall & Sanusha Naidu), the Institute for Security Studies (Henri Boshoff), the International Crisis Group (Peter Kagwanja), the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (Claude Kabemba) and by university-based and independent scholars (Nthakeng Selinyane, Dale McKinley, Alison Lazarus & Ishola Williams), it constitutes an important contribution to the debate about South African foreign policy as a whole, and in particular about whether South Africa should be viewed as a regional hegemon.